Sep 13, 2014

Skirting the Issue


While we have been enjoying our culinary travels around the world exploring Jewish cuisine, this week we will stay close to home and discuss one of America’s favorite pastimes—grilling! This week we’ll share recipes for grilling skirt steak. This flavorful meat is very versatile and can be incorporated in many different dishes.
Skirt steak is cut from the plate or lower front-half of the cow. It is prized for its flavor rather than
tender texture. Kosher skirt steak tends to be salty so we recommend soaking it for an hour or two
before rinsing and cooking. It is a long flat cut of meat. If the piece you buy is longer than 10 inches, cut
it in half before preparing. After cooking it should be sliced across the grain to improve tenderness.

Grilled Skirt Steak

This is a basic recipe for preparing skirt steaks. You can serve it as is or add the meat to a salad or wraps.

1 1/2 teaspoons paprika
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3 garlic cloves, crushed
1 tablespoon olive oil
1-1 1⁄2 pounds skirt steak, each cut in half

Stir together spices in a bowl, then stir in garlic and oil until a paste forms. Pat steak dry, then rub all
over with paste. Marinate steak in a sealed large plastic bag, in the refrigerator for an hour or two.
Remove from refrigerator and bring steaks to room temperature. While steak comes to room
temperature, prepare grill for cooking. If using a charcoal grill, open vents on bottom of grill, then light
charcoal. Charcoal fire is hot when you can hold your hand 5 inches above rack for 1 to 2 seconds. If
using a gas grill, preheat burners on high, covered, 10 minutes, then reduce heat to moderately high.
Lightly grease the grate with an oil-dampened paper towel. Grill steaks, uncovered, turning over once, 8-10 minutes total for medium. 12-15 minutes for medium-well done.
Remove steak from the grill and allow it to rest for 5 minutes. Cut steak diagonally across grain into 1/4-inch-thick slices.

Balsamic Grilled Skirt Steak

1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon soy sauce
2 teaspoons dark brown sugar
1 garlic clove, minced
1 pound skirt steak, trimmed and cut into 4 pieces
Canola oil for the grill
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Combine first 4 ingredients in a large zip-top plastic bag. Add steak, turning to coat; seal and marinate at room temperature 25 minutes, turning once. Remove steak from bag; discard marinade.

Heat a large grill pan over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Sprinkle both sides of steak
with 1/4 teaspoon salt and pepper. Add steak to pan; cook 3 minutes on each side or until desired
degree of doneness. Remove steak from pan; sprinkle with remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt. Tent with foil;
let stand 5 minutes. Cut steak diagonally across the grain into thin slices

One of the most popular uses for skirt steak is in a fajita. Fajita—pronounced fahita—refers to grilled
meat usually served as a taco on a flour or corn tortilla. The meat is often cooked with onions and bell
peppers. Popular condiments are shredded lettuce, guacamole, tomatoes and salsa.

Tex-Mex Fajitas

For the marinade & meat:
1 orange, juiced
2 limes, juiced
4 tablespoons olive oil
2 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
3 sweet pickled peppers or hot peppers
3 tablespoon roughly chopped fresh cilantro leaves
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon salt
2 1/4 pounds skirt, cut into 8-inch pieces

For assembly:
Salt and pepper
2 red bell peppers, thinly sliced
1 large onion, thinly sliced
Light olive oil
12 flour tortillas, warm

For the guacamole:
5 ripe Hass avocados
3 to 4 limes, juiced
1/2 small onion, chopped
1 small garlic clove, minced
1 jalapeno, seeded and chopped
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Good quality store bought salsa

Combine all the marinade ingredients. Using an immersion blender, puree the marinade until smooth.
Transfer to a re-sealable plastic bag and add the steak, seal and shake to coat. Refrigerate the beef for 2
to 4 hours to tenderize and flavor the beef
Drain the marinade from the beef. Lightly oil the grill grate. Season liberally with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Grill the steak over medium-high heat and cook for 5-6 minutes on each side and then transfer to a cutting board and let rest.

Toss the bell peppers and onions with a little olive oil. Grill onions and peppers for 7 to 8 minutes until the vegetables are just barely limp.

Prepare guacamole: With a tablespoon, scoop out the avocado flesh into a mixing bowl. Mash the
avocados with a fork, leaving them still a bit chunky. Add all of the rest of the ingredients, and fold
everything together.

Heat up the tortillas. Turn on one burner to a medium low flame. Place a tortilla on each flame and let
it char about 30 seconds to 1 minute, flip the tortilla and repeat on the second side. Once heated and
charred, wrap in a towel to keep warm. Repeat until you have warmed all of your tortillas.

To serve:
Thinly slice the steak against the grain on a diagonal.
Spread some guacamole on a tortilla, top with a few slices of steak, peppers and onions, and salsa. Roll up the tortilla to enclose the filling.
Happy grilling!

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